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Author Topic: Range of Travel and First/Second Round Voting  (Read 2503 times)
jonahfeldman
Jr. Member
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Posts: 96


« on: October 07, 2014, 09:49:09 PM »

This yearís expansion in the number of tournament options has had both positive and negative repercussions.  A positive outcome from this development has been an increase in the number of students participating at tournaments and more choices for regional travel.  However, Iím growing increasingly concerned that the competing tournaments model will create the possibility for an exclusive regionalism to develop in which teams stop attending any tournaments in a large section of the country.  An important question we need to ask ourselves is: do we want to have opportunities for students from different sides of the country to debate each other?

If you believe the answer to that question is yes, then basic notions of fairness dictate that sometimes we go to one side of the country and sometimes we go to the other side of the country.  Sometimes we go to a tournament that is cheap to travel to and we can bring a large number of teams, and sometimes we go to a tournament that is farther away, more expensive, and we cannot bring as many teams.  Any derivation from that bargain represents a dramatic reduction in the post-merger cost sharing arrangement.

If you believe the answer to that question is no, then I urge you to consider more carefully the consequences of segregation.  Our students benefit from interaction and competition with the wide variety of teams that exist all across the country.  Even if resource constraints may limit us to nearby tournaments for a large portion of the season, if the only time our students ever see teams outside the region is at the end of the year competitions than we have severely restricted the educational opportunities that other students and coaches outside the region can provide.  It also makes the process of choosing first and second round bid recipients incredibly challenging when students donít have a common tournament base to compare and limited head to head opportunities.

To address these concerns Iíve decide to include ďrange of travelĒ as a consideration in my first and second round ranking process.  Students who have shown success in tournaments throughout the country against a variety of different opponents will, in my eyes, have proven a stronger case for receiving a first or second round bid then students who have been heavily constrained by region.  Please e-mail me if financial or other burdens have made it impossible for you to travel far outside your region and I will certainly take that into consideration.

I encourage other first and second round voters to weigh on how they plan to respond in their voting to some of these new challenges.

Sincerely,

Jonah Feldman
District 1 Representative to the NDT Committee
jonahfeldman@berkeley.edu
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jonahfeldman
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 96


« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 08:50:52 AM »

I was asked a couple clarification questions, so wanted to define my thinking a little more. My goal is to create a minimum standard for making national travel somewhat regionally diverse without undermining regional debate or creating undue financial burdens. Ideally I'd like people to attend at least one tournament in the west (Districts 1,2), one tournament in the middle (Districts 3,4,5) and one tournament in the east (Districts 6, 7). Those regions cover a lot of territory, so it's far from a perfect system, but I'm certainly not intending to view an application as weaker because, for example, they only went to Weber and not USC, or Wake but not Harvard.

Financial inability is not the only exception, there could be many other acceptable reasons why someone wouldn't be able to attend a tournament like illness, weather, etc. For second round bids in particular there will be a lot of understanding for financial or other logistical barriers. The goal is to make the bar fairly low so as not to create an undue burden for what should be a reasonable expectation: Travel to each third of the country, at least once, if you can.
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jonahfeldman
Jr. Member
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Posts: 96


« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 09:07:47 PM »

Some folks made good arguments in regards to application of this policy to second rounds.  So, I've decided to put second rounds on hold to study this year, possibly revisit next year, and keep the focus on first rounds for right now. Thanks to all who provided feedback
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